West Virginia had found their scoring touch. Fighting back from a double digit deficit, the Mountaineers were poised to take the game into overtime with all the momentum on their side. All that stood between the Mountaineers and a big comeback victory was one simple defensive stop.
Aaric Murray came up with that stop, delivering a monster block in the lane to end the Red Raiders hopes of winning the game. With only two seconds left, Jamal Williams threw up a desperation three that would not go. WVU players knew they were headed to overtime.
And in that split second, the Mountaineers season was ended.
Dejan Kravic found the short rebound for a quick tip in lay-up.
The final play of West Virignia’s putrid inaugural Big XII season summed up the entire season. A play in which the Mountaineers had all but ensured overtime and a potentially huge victory, they surrender a head-scratching colossal defensive blunder.
“Our credo for as long as I’ve coached has always been get to the ball,” Huggins said following WVU’s 71-69 loss to the Red Raiders in the first round of the Big 12 tournament. “It’s hard to win when you don’t get to the ball. And this group, for whatever reason, is the worst that we’ve ever had at getting to the ball.”
West Virignia’s inability to get to the basketball on the last play of the game will be the enduring image of a lost season.
For more on coach Huggins’s thoughts, visit wvusports.com